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Sylvie Fanchon

1953 | Nairobi, Kenya
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— Sylvie Fanchon

French painter.

Sylvie Fanchon graduated from the Fine Arts School of Paris in 1982. At a time when painting was marked by Free Figuration, the French movement inherited from the New Figuration of the 1960s, she advocated for the return of a more simple and pure pictorial form that constituted the origin of her aesthetic. Her first paintings were characterised by bold colours and geometric forms―triangles, squares, rectangles and circles. Marked by palpable matter and a feverish gesture, these forms were echoed in the formats of her canvases, which seemed to adapt to the represented motifs. In her following paintings, the artist elaborated more abstract motifs that no longer covered the entire canvas but were rather placed more sparsely throughout. Her protocol is simple: two colours that correspond to a motif, on a monochrome background. She thus put in place a repertoire of forms and figures in which the colour made sense and became the driving force. Drawing from her “visual quotidian,” the themes are extracted from diverse registers: metro maps, advertising logos, architectural plans, electronic systems, models, sewing patterns, charts or other cellular diagrams, furniture (table surfaces, or tile fragments), or even comics.

Once isolated from their original context, these motifs become signs and are reduced to a schematic form in which the initial aspect is difficult, or impossible, to find. On coloured backgrounds, S. Fanchon deposits residual subjects, considered secondary, thus provoking incongruous comparisons and playful collisions. Her paintings transform the non-subject into subject, the off-screen into pictorial motif. As content and form are treated on the same level, she abolishes the hierarchy of genre and obscures any traces of eventual references―all of her works are entitled Untitled. Her artistic means are minimal, but her painting is not. The subjects are secondary, but treated on the foreground. As for the motifs, they are too figurative to be abstract painting, too abstract to be figurative. In this sense, this hybrid painting in which the line creates colour and the colour creates form, remains undefinable.

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Ludovic Delalande

Translated from French by Katia Porro.

From the Dictionnaire universel des créatrices
© 2013 Des femmes – Antoinette Fouque
© Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions
Sylvie Fanchon — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Sylvie Fanchon, Sans titre (Bonjour, commençons…), 2018, acrylic on canvas, 100 x 160 cm, © Sylvie Fanchon

Sylvie Fanchon — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Sylvie Fanchon, Mural (LAISSEZMOI…), 2018, 300 x 770 cm, © Sylvie Fanchon

Sylvie Fanchon — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Sylvie Fanchon, Sans titre (Caractères), 2010, acrylic on canvas, 114 x 195 cm, © Sylvie Fanchon

Sylvie Fanchon — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Sylvie Fanchon, Sans titre (Fantôme), 2015, acrylic on canvas, 50 x 60 cm, © Sylvie Fanchon

Sylvie Fanchon — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Sylvie Fanchon, Sans titre (figures), 2017, acrylic on canvas, 40 x 50 cm, © Sylvie Fanchon

Sylvie Fanchon — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Sylvie Fanchon, Mural (QUEPUISJEFAIREPOURVOUS…), 2018, 130 x 800 cm, © Sylvie Fanchon

Sylvie Fanchon — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Sylvie Fanchon, Sans titre (Monochromes décoratifs), 2012, acrylic on canvas, 114 x 162 cm, © Sylvie Fanchon

Sylvie Fanchon — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Sylvie Fanchon, Sans titre (Tableau Scotch), 2014, acrylic on canvas, 40 x 60 cm, © Sylvie Fanchon

Sylvie Fanchon — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Sylvie Fanchon, Sans titre (Tableaux Bêtes), 2012, acrylic on canvas, 114 x 162 cm, © Sylvie Fanchon

Sylvie Fanchon — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Sylvie Fanchon, Sans titre (Voici des exemples…), 2018, acrylic on canvas, 100 x 160 cm, © Sylvie Fanchon

Sylvie Fanchon — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Sylvie Fanchon, Sans titre, 2005, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 81 cm, © Sylvie Fanchon

Sylvie Fanchon — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Sylvie Fanchon, Sans titre, 2016, acrylic on canvas, 130 x 197 cm, © Sylvie Fanchon

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